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Helmets - Should you? and Which?

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Helmets - Should you? and Which?

Old 20th Jul 2001, 09:45
  #61 (permalink)  
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Roofus :

The other contributory factor being an overspeed of 132%.
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Old 20th Jul 2001, 10:46
  #62 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up


Try SES at Kemble, better, quicker and cheaper. We used HS for some time but switched for the reasons you mentioned.
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Old 27th Mar 2002, 17:25
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: 'Mampara' langa, ZA
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Question Helmets

Anybody have any gen on the Alpha flying helmets.. .I have an old Gentex that has seen better days and am looking at buying a new Alpha helmet. It certainly costs a bit more than the Gentex, is it worth it? Any comments on durability, comfort etc.? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="smile.gif" />
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Old 27th Mar 2002, 17:49
  #64 (permalink)  

Join Date: Nov 2000
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I use an Alpha myself, though I didn't pay full price for it. I like it a lot, but there's a new French one that's getting some good feedback in Canada, especially as the Alpha is almost impossible to get in N America anyway (I know there's an agent, but the system certainly doesn't work - there's a lead time of six weeks anyway). Perhaps someone knows who the French guys are.. .. .Phil
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Old 27th Mar 2002, 17:59
  #65 (permalink)  
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CGF Gallet. .. .<a href="http://www.gallet.fr" target="_blank">www.gallet.fr</a> should get you to the right place!!!. .. . <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" />
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Old 27th Mar 2002, 18:15
  #66 (permalink)  
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I'd get a new gentex if I were you. Alpha's, which I've been wearing for 7 years, are heavier and more expensive. We're shortly all to have gentex in our unit and all can't wait.
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Old 27th Mar 2002, 19:46
  #67 (permalink)  
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I will be coming back to SA in a month or so. I have two Gentex types, both pretty new. I can part with one for the right price, or maybe get one here in the states for you. Drop me an email.
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Old 27th Mar 2002, 23:52
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
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For the last two years I have used a CGF Gallet with a David Clarcks H60 build in and find it very comfortable to fly with, all day, hardly notice that I have got it on.. .But then I have never seen/held an Alpha but then I have seen/held a Gentex but was not to impressed.. .Safe flying <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />. . . . <small>[ 27 March 2002, 19:54: Message edited by: Off road ]</small>
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Old 28th Mar 2002, 00:15
  #69 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: N England
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I've used both Gentex and Alpha; I feel the alphas are rather better generally and definitely more comfortable. The gel ear seals on the gentex didn't relly keep out all the noise and the gel was particularly uncomfortable to don when cold, though in ZA I doubt if that would bother you!
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Old 29th Mar 2002, 06:27
  #70 (permalink)  
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Tokoloshe,. .. .If at all possible you should try them all on, people have different head shapes, neck musculature etc. People can only tell you what worked well or not for themselves.
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Old 31st Mar 2002, 10:47
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Thumbs up

Thanks for all the input,

I have tried on the Alpha and it seems a lot better as far as the fit is concerned. Not sure yet if the price justifies it; although as the old Bell helmets add went....If you have 10$ head, buy a 10$ helmet.
Re, the agents, I will get mine from the UK as there is no agent in SA (as far as I know)
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Old 31st Mar 2002, 11:06
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Have worn an Alpha for 10+ years and seen it in action twice (not on me fortunately!)

Worked as advertised both times, one in a pretty nasty rolling accident.

No comparison of the others available, but I know the Alpha is reliable in an accident; worth the extra $ in my mind.
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Old 23rd Apr 2002, 16:22
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
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In case anyone is wondering Gentex has 2 new helicopter helmets in their product line. When I visited FlightSuits in San Diego a couple of years ago, I was told of the new models. They have a new one to replace the SPH-5 (standard helmet), that the US Army has designed (HGU 56). It is similar, but has square ear 'flaps'. The US Navy & Marines have gone with an HGU 84 helicopter helmet (top gun style). It is lighter than the SPH series. So you do have more than one option when it comes to Gentex helmets.



Last edited by Randy_g; 23rd Apr 2002 at 16:24.
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Old 21st May 2002, 21:51
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sydney, Oz.
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thread from the past, but its something I've often wondered.. from a PPL(H) interest.

Irrespective of passenger reaction etc, wouldn't a helmet be recommended under most conditions?
It seems to me that helmet improve survivability, aid in noise reduction, provides added eye protection with a visor.. why arent they more common, even in a PPL(H) stream?

Even if you arent all 'nomexed' up, isnt a helmet still beneficial?

Is it the cost?

You might look like a tosser/wannabe wearing one when its not the 'norm' ... but when it comes to the crunch, it'll be worth it, wouldnt it?

Given that a lot of training is done in Robbies would you been seen as not compliying with the POH when it says "During run-up & shutdown, pilot should uncover right ear, open right door, and listen for unusual bearing noise..."
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Old 21st May 2002, 22:18
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
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A few years ago a New York State Police helicopter struck wires while on a marijuana eradication mission. The aircraft reportedly fell back and landed on the tailboom first and then landed upright. The pilot was wearing a headset at the time. The pilots door pillar crushed inward and he struck his head on the pillar. He lost alot of blood and almost died. He suffers from dizziness and head aches. According to the DR'S if he had on a helmet he would not have suffered the laceration to the head and lost all the blood. Unfortunately he lost his medical because of the diziness. I like the helmet as it protects your eyes with either the clear visor or the tinted visor in the sun. When I fly for the police I always wear it. When I fly for the cilvilan polpulation I do not always wear one. (I feel naked without it).

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Old 21st May 2002, 23:55
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: SoCal
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In the area that I generally work, I could not imagine not wearing a helmet. I am constantly in gusty winds that throw us around, and with the "superior" headroom in the 500, you should see the marks in my helmet. Granted the helmet reduces the headroom, but I would not have it any other way.

I agree with the better noise protection of the helmet, and I also use the "CEP" ear protection.

The passengers that I have, rarely ask about the helmet. My response is that it part of my uniform, and that seems to satisfy them.
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Old 22nd May 2002, 03:22
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Love the helmet - a bit predictable really...

I remember I worked for an EMS helo organisation that was considering introducing helmets for the aircrew and there was alot of the concern that some of you have raised here - that the pax may be frightened by them. When we researched it further we contacted a US organisation (CONCERN or HAI - not too sure) and asked the questions on safety, noise, and pax in regard to helmets. I remember that their response finally convinced the management to go with the helmets - as long as the aircrew purchased their own!! The part of the response that helped swing the decision stated that the patients/passengers flying with helmet equipped pilots were only very rarely scared by them, and in fact, they were much more likely to think it looked more professional, and wre thus more at ease !!!

An example of why I always wear a helmet: I met a Canadian bloke flying a Canadian B205 for Jayrow on the Australian fires a few years back - a great bloke, and an experienced pilot. A few days after I had met him. he left a local show where he and his helicopter had been a display, to fly back to the operating base. En-route he suffered a mechanical failure - transmission related - and crashed. He died several hours after the accident of head injuries- only a few hours before they found him. The tragedy was that he had his helmet strapped into the back seat rather than on his head. (From memory, he had also disarmed the ELT incase the kids at the show activated it - and forgot to re arm it.)

I dont know how to post a link to this but it is on the Australian Transport safety Board/ BASI website as a complete report - perhaps some one in the know could post a link?. If you dont believe in helmets - read it.

On the visors - I once saw a demo wear a bloke with a hammer tried to break an Alpha helmet visor by suspending it between two bricks and pounding the poo out of it with the hammer. Also, a mate of mine speared in doing parachute ops in a fixed wing, and ended up with some severe facial injuries when he bit the dash board during the accident. According to the investigation, the injuries would have been far less significant and far less widespread if he had had his visor down. Lesson two learnt for me: ALWAYS have your clear visor down, even if you then put your dark one down too.

Also, helmet visors (unlike most sunglasses - particularly coloured lense glasses) are specifically tested for colour clarity so the red and orange caution lights remain sensitive to the eye detection abilities.

Why wouldn't you wear one?

Last edited by helmet fire; 22nd May 2002 at 03:30.
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Old 22nd May 2002, 05:26
  #78 (permalink)  
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The B205 accident report can be found here .

Also, there's the report mentioned in a post above referring to the accident involving VH-PMO at Mangalore.
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Old 22nd May 2002, 08:53
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Yendys
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Helmet Fire, Good example with the Jaspers Brush accident, beat me to it!

Another accident where BASI mentioned helmet was in Qld a few years ago. 206 on charter ops autorotated into water very hard and all on board drowned. Pilot was knocked out in accident and passengers were either incapacitated or unable to exit. General comment was that if the pilot was wearing a helmet he would have been conscious after the accident and would 'probably' have exited the aircraft. He may have then been able to help the pax.

This was post accident speculation on the part of the investiagtors, but a clear message from this is the opportunity to survive was diminished because the pilot was not wearing a helmet.

My preference is to wear it when-ever possible.


P.S. 430 driver - If your helmet restricts peripheral vision for any ops (including SPIFR) then it is either a poor fit or a poor helmet. The only bit of the helmet you should be able to see (through) is the visor.
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Old 22nd May 2002, 10:37
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: UK
Age: 57
Posts: 159
Just to clarify,
It is (in the U.K) mandatory for all of the crew to wear protective headgear for police / EMS operations. It is also the case for powerline /pipeline patrol operations.

Personally, I have worn a helmet whenever I have been able to outside of pure public transport. Common sense dictates that if you have an uninvited guest thru' the screen or that the **** is really hitting the aircraft fan, you want to give yourself the best chance to walk away and fly another day.

Here's hoping that I never have to test it.
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